As a new chapter (or rather, Episode) of the Star Wars saga cruises relentlessly into cinemas like a Star Destroyer creeping into frame eclipsing every other planet, moon and star around it, I began to wonder what makes the series so timeless and popular. Sure, there's the special FX and memorable characters but those types of things can be found in other franchises. Having just walked out of the UK press screening of The Force Awakens, that turned a theatre of hardened critics and assorted media wankers (myself not excepted) into whooping, cheering fan girls, I have come to one conclusion; it's all about the power of The Force.
Obi Wan Kenobi said The Force is "an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together." But what exactly did that bearded old hippie mean by that and how does it apply to the real world?
Well, for starters, The Force is what will drive people in their droves to the cinema over this Christmas period, making Walt Disney the happiest Force ghost in the cemetery. The Force is what makes sci-fi nerds worship these films like a religion. The Force is what makes some people actually sign up to the Church of Jediism, like it's an actual fucking religion.
To help us get to grips with The Force and learn how to apply it in everyday life, we need to understand in where The Force is strong and in where The Force is weak.
The general consensus is that The Force was weak with the Star Wars prequel trilogy. In fact, The Force was so weak with the prequels that I once witnessed a gaggle of disgruntled Star Wars fans remove the DVD copies of Episodes I, II and III from their well stocked movie collection and soberly elect that their was more fun to be had by physically vandalising the DVD's beyond repair than by ever having to sit through them again. This posse of miscreants extracted revenge on the prequel trilogy for robbing them of six hours and fifty eight minutes of their life by repeatedly impaling their box set with a combat knife (the exact jagged-edged, big fuck-off knife that Rambo used to slit Commie gizzards with), then lighting the splintered remains on fire before finally urinating on the molten remains, thus banishing the prequels to movie-hell in a vaporous apparition of piss-steam. Even Mark Kermode would surely marvel at this group's physical manifestation of a scathing review.
Many viewers and critics claimed to enjoy the original prequel upon it's release but with hindsight the feeling is that punters and pundits talked themselves into thinking they enjoyed it, when subconsciously they knew all along something was amiss.
By comparison, it's universally acknowledged that The Force is strong with the original Star Wars trilogy. I doubt any film fan has ever been driven to taking their box set of Episodes IV, V and VI off there shelf and goring them with army surplus equipment and reducing them to ashen ruins steeped in human body waste. If any film-buff has felt possessed to do such a thing, be sure to correct me on this matter and I will, in turn, alert your carer.
But what is The Force? Recently I had an epiphany about what George Lucas was really talking about when he first wrote about The Force. The Force is what made Michael Jackson grab his crotch and feel like saying "Ooooooh!" (Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough lyrics: "The Force, it's got alotta power and it make me feel like, ah, it make me feel like...ooooh!"). Using The Force is what athletes refer to as being 'in the Zone', when a game seems to move in slow motion allowing them to anticipate plays before they happen. Harnessing The Force is the exact same thing John Cleese talked about in his lecture on creativity, when he explained how accessing your subconscious mind was the key to getting the best results out of your chosen art. Song writer's talk about how in their moments of greatest inspiration it can feel as if 'God is writing through them'. Quentin Tarantino seems to take almost no responsibility for what he writes, explaining that his character's just talk to each other and he writes it down.
So, what I'm saying is when one of Quentin's character's says "I'm a mushroom cloud laying motherfucker, motherfucker. Ever time my fingers touch brain I'm super fly TNT, I'm the Guns of the Navaraone", it's because QT is using The Force. And when R. Kelly, the Darth Vader of the R 'n' B slow jam, writes a song like "Sex planet" and sings "I'm about tickle and touch your soul, when I enter your black hole...let's take a trip to Uranus", yes, (The Darkside of) The Force is responsible.
George Lucas gave us all the tools to be Jedi knights when he wrote the scene in which Obi Wan Kenobi's tells Luke Skywalker "a Jedi can feel the force flowing through him" and instructs him "let go your conscious self." Get in the moment, let your subconscious take control. Feeling, rather than over-thinking. Or, in the words of everyone's favourite Jedi-muppet Yoda, "Do or do not, there is no try."
So there you go, now you know how to use The Force in everyday life. It's all about the subconscious. Of course, knowing this will not help you use telekinesis to bring your TV remote directly into your hand when you can't be bothered to get off the sofa and nor will it give you the power to force-choke a colleague when their incompetence displeases you. However, it may help you get 'in the Zone' at your next 5-a-side football match and may the force be with you all when you are made to take part in a 'blue sky' creative thinking exercise at work.
If any trainee Jedi's think they have managed to crack the telekinesis or the force choking thing, get in touch and let me know and, yes, I will, in turn, alert your carer.